HB 655: A Way Forward?
An early April press conference saw Representative Donnie Lambeth (Republican, District 75, Forsyth) sponsor North Carolina Health Care for Working Families Act, H655. This is a new bill to bring affordable health care to hard-working North Carolinians. H655 includes some elements (work requirements and premiums) that will prevent some people from enrolling and staying enrolled. However, it is a pragmatic proposal for closing the healthcare coverage gap that can hopefully gain traction on both sides of the aisle.
Other Foundation funded advocacy grantees including NC Justice Center, take a dim view of the proposed legislation. Their press statement can be found here. The Justice Center has recently published research that suggests that considering other states’ experience, and the economic realities of those without health insurance, premiums and work requirements would create insurmountable barriers for those seeking health care coverage. Their report entitled Health Coverage or Food On The Table can be found here.